Saracen caps off record year

SARACEN Mineral Holdings has posted a record full-year profit of A$75.6 million after a landmark year.
Saracen caps off record year Saracen caps off record year Saracen caps off record year Saracen caps off record year Saracen caps off record year

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The 2018 financial year NPAT was up by 166%.

Underlying NPAT doubled to $67.3 million, while EBITDA rose by 75% to a record $198.7 million.

Revenue increased by 21% to $511 million after record gold sales of 317,675 ounces of gold at all-in sustaining costs of $1139 an ounce.

Saracen managing director Raleigh Finlayson said profit and free cashflow surged as the company increased production and lowered costs.

"This combination stemmed in part from our huge exploration success," he said.

"This is the key to our ongoing growth and therefore we have committed $60 million to exploration in FY19.

"Continued growth in our inventory will underpin our push to become a 400,000ozpa producer with 10-year mine lives at both operations."

At the end of June, Saracen had cash and equivalents of $118.3 million, up from $45.2 million a year earlier, even after spending $71.8 million on exploration and growth during FY18.

The debt-free company had $269 million of available liquidity.

Saracen did not declare a dividend, with Finlayson saying last month that it would be considered this financial year.

The profit result missed RBC Capital Markets' forecast of $84.3 million due to around $10 million in additional costs and a further $6 million in depreciation and amortisation.

"We would not expect this to result in any adverse market reaction given what we believe is a more important focus on growth and exploration (and less so on earnings)," analyst Paul Hissey said.

"Looking into FY19, we note that the company is well positioned to continue its aggressive exploration program in what we believe is a highly prospective area proximal to its existing businesses.

"Potential upside to our price target (when many peers have none) and momentum remain the pillars of our top pick rating."

Shares in Saracen rose by 3.6% to $2.015. The stock peaked at $2.31 in June. RBC's price target is $2.50.